MMA is a sport that is always evolving. The sport looks dramatically different now than it did when it first started in 1993. Tyron Woodley expects the sport to continue changing with the fighters evolving.

Tyron Woodley’s athleticism has been harped on throughout his career. The MMA fighter has big power, good explosiveness, and his speed is well documented. He expects the sport to continue evolving with athletes finding the most success.

“The best fighter is the best athlete,” Woodley told MMA Junkie. “That is gonna become the case.”

Tyron Woodley sees athletes as having the best chance at becoming successful in the sport. MMA is no longer about the brawlers willing to through caution to the wind. Now it’s all about who has the best athleticism according to Woodley.

“The best athlete has a better chance to have a more explosive workout when it comes down to dynamic striking, motions, movement,” Woodley said. “They’re gonna be more able to switch it up, use their legs, use their hands, they’re gonna be more flexible, they’re gonna have the ability to suppress more. The old school, barnburner fighter that literally just had a strong chin and wouldn’t care and was tired and, you know what I mean, just would keep going? We love watching those fights, but the athlete is gonna (tag him) and get out, and it won’t even be close. He won’t even get a chance to touch him and will be swinging out of desperation.”

He continued, “Think about it: The highlight-reel knockouts and explosive knockouts are from athletes. You look at the guys that are the champions, they’re athletes. And I’m not saying there won’t be a place for guys that may not be as athletic, but the mindset of an athlete is repetition. Repetition is how you build habit. If you do that over and over again, and you’re more athletic, you’ve got more opportunities. Because people wanna work with athletes.”

It will be interesting to see if Tyron Woodley is right and the sport moves towards athleticism over grit and toughness. There are certainly some great examples of how far being athletic can take you in MMA.